Moving On. 1881, by Sir Hubert Herkomer (1849-1914). Initialled and dated '91. Watercolour and bodycolour. 10 x 14 inches. Source: The Maas Gallery. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

“Herkomer painted his social realist masterpiece Hard Times in 1885, in response to witnessing hundreds of workers ‘on-the-tramp’ looking for work, in the deep recession of the 1880s. In 1891, the same year as this watercolour, he followed it with his Royal Academy Diploma picture, On Strike , prompted by the London dockers’ strike of 1889. Herkomer seems to have used the same model for the central figure of the man as in our watercolour. Whilst in Hard Times he is portrayed as a surly dissident, obstinately standing in the doorway of his worker’s cottage, in our painting he is a more sympathetic character, striding out with his son to find work; two smaller children look on in astonishment.” — Rupert Maas

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Crowther, Paul. Awakening Beauty: The Crowther-Oblak Collection of Victorian Art. Exhibition catalogue. Ljubljana: National Gallery of Slovenia; Galway: Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, 2014. No. 37.

Created 10 February 2015